It started as a harmless joke that Forth’s friends compiled together to help him get comfortable with his sexuality. Supportive best friends: the utter doom of Forth. With a lot of persistence and puppy eyes, he wasn’t going to let the annoyance bother him forever, which was not an exaggeration as his friends were persistent as komodo dragons.
Truly, he was grateful for them. He loved how supportive they are towards his sexuality and how they encourage him to explore his sexual feelings toward men. Hell, they cheered him up about his hair being buzzcut and applauded him. But, a strip club? This was… quite the contrary of what Forth had in mind when his friend told him that they were going to set him up with a date.
Lights dimmed ultra-low, a song with a fast tempo and loud bass played, and his friend’s voice barely audible said while up to Forth’s ear, “A date with the best bisexual stripper on this side of the city!”
Okay. Sounded fun. Perhaps?
Yellow lights switched to green and then to red. Cheap cologne, sweat, alcohol, and another musk that Forth couldn’t identify lingered in the air. This was going to be an interesting experience, and perhaps this night wouldn’t be a total disaster as it played out in Forth’s little theater in his head.
It happened as fast as he could remember stepping into the entrance: the private ‘door’, the security guards, his friends that abandoned him. Cozy in a purple chair, he was alone in the room where the door wasn’t a door but was an entrance with curtains. It was a little scary, to say the least, but Forth was all game for whatever life threw at him once the stripper came through those sand silk curtains.
The room was lit in a bloody red light, and it would seldom change colors to liven the space. It went blue as Forth worried that this was all a bad idea. When it was yellow, he was optimistic about scratching this all off his bucket list. Once a shade of green illuminated the room, he wanted to hurl and call it a day. But red was when he came through the curtains, Forth knew it the moment his eyes caught sight of the tiny latex shorts that hugged an obvious bulge. A crimson garter belt latched onto the shorts while it bit onto the side-ends of the black kneesocks. Soon enough, Forth noticed once his eyes traveled up that the stripper only had an open vest with full chest exposure matched with a simple black silk choker (the one that has a ring in the middle).
Fucking shit, he looks sensual, Forth immediately thought. It would be a sinful lie to say that Forth was not tempted to have his hands on the man in the noir stilettos. The outfit should’ve looked ridiculous, but this man knew how to seduce Forth with the tip of his fingernail. Fuck, if the sexy stripper said to lick his hand, Forth probably would do it with as much resistance as a paper against the wind.
Nonetheless, this man held beauty, lust, and power in confidence as he casually closed the distance between him and Forth. He tilted his head in the same way a black wolf would analyze his prey’s position. This was a hunting ground, and Forth could sense that he was directly in the middle of it.
The fast-paced music picking up his heart rate. Red lights went green. “Hello,” Forth said. He cursed how mundane he was, instantly regretting fucking up his first impression. Luckily, his expression never changed to show this thought.
“Forth, correct?” The slightly shorter stripper asked. Green light transitioned to purple.
“...,” It was reasonable to respond with a nod.
“Just so you know, your friends paid good money for me to be in this specific outfit,” the stripper nonchalantly puffed an air of importance, pulling back the latex shorts an inch apart from his thigh before releasing it and letting it smack harshly against the white skin.
The stripper looked at Forth with hungry eyes, absorbing every detail about him with his piercing brown eyes eyes that almost looked like black under dim lights. A mischievous smile present on this man made Forth worm a little in his seat. He bent over to get on head-level with Forth before he spoke, “You’re a lot cuter than I thought you would be.”
“T-thanks,” Forth stuttered, which must’ve sounded ridiculous since his voice was deep and husky. The lights changed back to red, matching his flushed cheeks.
“P’Tee,” Forth repeated, nodding away at the name as it bulldozed its way into his memory. An incredibly dull name, honestly. For a stripper, that is.
“Oh, drop the ‘P’, such a turn off for my customers. If anything, you’re older than me,” Tee explained, indulging in the surprised expression from Forth.
“Okay, Tee .”
“I’ll clarify the rules just in case you’d forgotten,” Tee backed off to give Forth a little space, “You aren’t allowed to touch the strippers. Of course, those can be periodically broken by me if I permit it. But it’ll cost you.”
Forth was as obedient as he could be to the rules and regulation of the established strip club. As a design engineer for the last five years, he knew how strict rules could be.
A place derived of love but passion still could burn these walls bloody red. A glass of alcohol served on the table still sits there waiting for an unconscious man to sip at its salted rim. Meticulously, Tee’s little movements with his lower body made Forth’s eyes sway.
A spell cursed Forth, forcing his arms, legs, neck to be still as stiff as a hardcover book. Yet, as he sat in that chair, enchanted in place as Tee rocked his hips and ass smoothly like his life didn’t depended it, a bait has been thrown into the water, and Forth was swimming way too carelessly towards it.
“Let me get comfortable ,” Tee cooed, bending his back forward so his hands could reach the back of his heels, proceeding to take them off. Being cautious to not let the pain show on his face, his aching feet resting flat on the chilled flooring. Unfortunately, the client was most certainly his type of man, but it was too bad he couldn’t get himself involved with clients in that way. It was too risky.
Tee got on his knees afterwards, crawling like a cheetah would, slowly reaching between Forth’s legs and creeping his wandering hands up Forth’s ankle, then leg, then thigh until it hovered over his crotch, and Tee sure as hell wanted to grope it, but this was only the beginning. What’s a show without a little teaser for the audience?
Through all the numerous hip thrusts, grinding, and ass-shaking, Forth was exhausted. And horny. Couldn’t forget the massive amount of sexual frustration that pent up inside of his boxer briefs as he remembered how horribly turned on he was by a single man. Smoking a cigarette outside of the club, most of his friends were plastered and were taken home by the non-drunk ones while Forth contemplated alone under the illumination of the neon lights from the strip club’s name.
It sucked that two hours passed by so quickly. Forth seriously was thinking of risking his entry to this club by touching the stripper. Tee was just so… ugh. Shaking off a mild perverted thought, he needed to saturate his mind with other things, to cover his tracks here, to maybe temporarily forget he went here.
He got into a cab and went home to masturbate to some amatuer porn.
A month went by after his last visit to that strip club, and Forth was finishing up a project he was working on to help maximize the efficiency of one company’s supplies to produce a specific consumable good. In the same province of this company, there was this popular sushi place that he kept hearing about from his coworkers to check out. As a perfect opportunity to grab lunch after his last day on the project, he went by himself and got a booth immediately.
A fine waitress served him for the first half of his visit there but told him that her shift will end soon and will have to switch with another waiter. Nodding away, Forth peacefully ate his eel rolls as a savory taste complemented with a hint of honey slipped down his throat. Yum! The rice wasn’t cooked wrong either, hence the perfect sticky texture. He could see himself giving this place a decent four-stars for its service and food, but the big bitch was the line to get inside.
Getting a little thirsty, he saw that his glass cup of water by the edge of the table was empty, but it was filled up immediately once waiter appeared.
“Sorry for the wait…” wait that deep familiar voice, but it was far too peppy this time, “I’m Beam, I’ll be your waiter for the rest of your stay here!”
Looking up to Beam’s face, Forth’s memories of that damn strip club was reawakened upon seeing Tee ’s face again. “Khrub.”
“Anything else you would like to order? Or anything you want me to suggest trying?” Beam’s bubbly attitude gave life to Forth.
“Ah, that item is our most expensive one, but it’s the most delicious, I can assure you that! Would that be fine?”
Of course .
“Okay, I’ll be back with your order!” Beam left in a hurry back to the kitchen. Ass bouncing more than a ball on concrete, and it was attracting Forth’s hungry eyes.
Wait. What did Forth order? He glanced the menu and skimmed for the most expensive item and noticed that it was called King’s Roll. Goddamn, it was 20 dollars alone!?
His order only took an outstanding eight minutes before Beam was back at his table with his food, placing the plate carefully in the middle then taking the empty and finished plates back with him, but not before he said, “Enjoy your meal!”
“Mmm,” Forth retorted too late; Beam was already in the kitchen. Biting into the first roll, “Shit, it is delicious.”
After leaving a tip that was half of the bill he paid for, Forth was little disappointed that Beam didn’t recognize him like he did. It made sense the more he put his thought into it: a busy stripper like Beam must have a lot of ‘special’ clients, and Forth was just another customer to the other man. Perhaps, Forth shouldn’t cloud his mind with these hopeful delusions, and he sure as hell shouldn’t get attached to a stripper.
That was what he thought before he came to the same strip club later that night. He couldn’t get Beam out of his head, and he surely wanted to see if the face matched because he was thinking maybe it was coincidence to meet Beam at a sushi restaurant as a waiter. It was just this one time to confirm his ideas, then he would leave and forget about Beam and that one night. Yup. This was totally justified for Forth to do.
In his leather booth, he watched from afar the t-shaped stage that had two long metallic poles evenly spread apart from each other on the sides of the platform. He was waiting like a dog at a 7-Eleven at 11:42pm for his owner, then the announcer’s smooth voice permeated through the filled seats.
“Time to give it up for our best stripper! A round of tips for Tee!”
Appearing with a matching black tie and slacks that went with the plain white button-up, giving Tee the model-student style, and, man, the audience ate it up. A roar of applause and whistles came through as the curtains and spotlight revealed the guest of the night. The obvious sounds of lust as men of all ages catcalled and already threw money on the stage, but Tee (Beam) didn’t give them a single wink of interest. His eyes filled only with getting the green later on. Power followed wherever he walked as pure utter confidence glowed within him—like moths toward a lamp.
But what good does a lamp have against a wildfire? Beam may have attracted moths, but the moment he saw and recognized a specific customer, he was doomed to fall to it. To Beam, this flame attracted chaos to everything he knew.
Forth sat on the edge of his seat, trying to not seem eager to step to the front of the stage, clutching the leather between the interspaces of his fingers. Surprisingly, Forth could sense he was on Beam’s rader when those black eyes lock on him, and only him, he would feel a little stuffy in his seat, fanning his shirt as if the AC wasn’t already blasting the club. As a trap beat echoed thoroughly off the walls, Forth watched as Beam began to dance. To Forth, it was a beginning.
To Beam, it was an ending of what he learned about this sketchy world. Beam was a little shaken by the handsome man that happened to leave an all-too-generous tip at the restaurant earlier, and he was back for more with a smug smile as Beam waved his hips while he spread his legs wide. Recollecting his name, Beam dug out the name from his archives, and he recited ‘Forth’ in his head. His eyes never broke contact with his kind tipper, and he made it overt that this dance was to seduce that particular man. Although, the tips the other customers were throwing were larger, but the catch wasn’t very rewarding for Beam. A fish will only naturally go to a bait that it was interested in, and Beam was going to play hard to get.
Frankly, Forth wasn’t here for a strip show, but he stayed because one yearning look from Beam kept him glued to the leather of the chair. Forth ordered one drink of beer to sedate his senses because the jitteriness in his skin of waiting for just one more side-glance from Beam was starting to get his hopes up in a manner he hadn’t felt in a long time. When the beer wasn’t enough, the Cola-infused vodka was the runner-up, but it did little to nothing to soothe the heart that was pulsating whenever Beam made a sharp move or a ruthless shoulder-glare like how those models on the runway do. And, fuck, this was Beam’s runway.
An hour passed, Beam was done already and collected his tips onstage, so he slipped backstage with the other dancers and was congratulated for his hard work. He clapped his hands together and did a small bow at them, thanking them as well. In reality, behind some of the kind faces his fellow peers, there was a hint of jealousy and hatred over how popular Beam was and wished for him to quit taking all the customers. Still, Beam paid no attention to any of it because he did what he had to do to make money to survive. Being a human was a expensive!
Beam went to take a break at the bar and ordered himself a drink before he would have to go back onstage for at one or two more dances. Taking in the little amount of peace he could get in this noisy and active environment, he loosened his necktie and looked at the other customers at the bar, noticing on the far end from him a face he was shamelessly sending private attention to. Being a curious person by default, Beam picked up his glass of rum and walked over to investigate. “How’s it going, handsome?”
Forth looked up from his glass, not expecting anything to happen tonight between him and Beam, but the unexpected come at such odd times. “M-me?”
“No, I meant the guy behind me,” Beam sarcastically said, not caring how the guy behind him heard and gave a hurt stare.
“What’s in your cup?”
“Why did you give me such a big tip at the restaurant today?” Beam purposely getting personal fast.
Shying away from the answer but still willing to give it, anyway, “I liked your attitude and how you serve your customers. Plus, you work diligently, so you deserve the tips.”
Now Beam was getting red in the ears and cheeks over the straightforward answer that Forth gave. “What a horribly honest man!” Beam walked away with his drink, chuckling a little to himself for encountering such an interesting man at such a lewd place, swallowing the rest of his rum to down the sweet feeling in his gut. “The show must go on!”
Forth woke up the following day, and he admitted shyly in his head that he enjoyed that night with Beam onstage giving him personal attention—it was seriously cute. He laid with bed-head and thought more about his new light in life. It would be hard to say that there was nothing going on with him and Beam, but he still wasn’t entirely sure of what he wanted out of this mere acquaintance. They weren’t even friends yet!
Maybe he could change that… no, that would be creepy. He shouldn’t try to push further with this matter. It’ll be nothing but a mistake and disappointment. Although, it could still be a fun journey on the way to said disappointment. Shit, there’s nothing wrong with trying to make it worthwhile, right? Yeah. That was the right way to think about it!
With newfound energy, Forth pushed himself to get ready for his day. It had to be a good day! He could feel it in his heart. Buzz-buzz! He looked to his right where the sound came from on his nightstand. A potential client, perhaps?
A mature masculine voice came through the phone, “Hi, are you P’Forth?”
“Can we hire you for a project?”
After obtaining the details of the project, he sort of looked down after seeing that the project would require him to work far away for at least two weeks. Well, the money was good, so he purposed it wasn’t all too bad.
He got up and began to pack up for his work.
It was an annoying two weeks, but he finally finished up and was ready to move onto the next project in his life. At least not until he first had some decent rest, so Forth crashed on his couch on the first night back to his apartment. The morning after he wondered what Beam was up to all this time, wondering if Beam noticed his sudden absence. Then again, it was too bold of an assumption to think that another human being’s existence only mattered if it was orbiting around his own gravity.
Forth took the time to travel on his motorbike to the restaurant Beam works at only to be disappointed that the queue to get inside was outrageously long. He tried later in the night to visit the strip club to find out that the Beam was too busy giving private shows, and it hurt a little to Forth to see the obvious wall that was between them.
Willing to give up easily, he went home and changed into comfortable clothing and walked to a bridge near his apartment to watch ongoing traffic. Dim golden yellow lights coming from the street lamps lit Forth’s smooth sun-kissed complexion, and he sulked a little in his private world that this was pathetic of him to do. Well, it was surely peaceful and aesthetic, to say the least. Pulling out a cigarette, he acknowledged that he shouldn’t have to smoke since he was trying to quit, but he was full of tension and stress over how his ideas weren’t following up. Forth deceived his senses to relax into thinking that one smoke wasn’t going to hurt. With one puff of the gray smoke into the open night air, his shoulders lowered and his tight lungs could breathe again.
“You seem down,” Beam appeared suddenly, looking a little relieved at a familiar face.
“W-what are you doing here?” Forth turned to give his full-attention, putting out the cigarette immediately.
Shrugging, “I pass this bridge to get home. And, I didn’t take my car to work today.”
“Oooh,” Forth nodded to the explanation, facing the traffic once again, “care to join me?”
“Well, the weather is pleasant today,” Beam blatantly faked his thinking, “I suppose I could join you.”
“Barely got off work?”
“Finished my last show a while ago.”
“Mmmm,” Beam rested his head on the railings as he dangled his arms over the edge, before he popped the question, “where did you go all this time?”
“Oh,” Forth covered his neck with one hand while the other brushed through his puffy hair, “I had work at a place that was far from here. That’s all.”
“Cool.” Beam looked relieved but still saddened by something that Forth couldn’t tell right off the spot.
“Did—,” Forth took a pause, pondering if this question was okay to say aloud, knowing their acquaintance with each other wasn’t necessarily that close, “did you think of me a lot?”
“What? No, of course, you’re just another customer that keeps my pockets happy,” Beam quickly responded, detaching from the subject fairly fast. He thanked the shadows of his black hair for covering up his flustered ears.
“Silly,” Forth giggled as he failed to realize how his elbow was touching Beam’s elbow.
It wasn’t like they had to be this physically close, but they naturally pulled each other. Echoing honks silenced by lukewarm wind passing by, they stayed in stillness as the moment was fleeting away so slowly. Their eyes connected and couldn’t seem to bare to look away for a second as they secretly admired what mysterious air the other had. It was like two different worlds trying to collide: chaotically beautiful. Carefully, they trend with each other, longing for the other to make a move already.
“I should get going. Goodnight, Forth,” Beam sheepishly remarked, rubbing his hair, half heartedly smiling at the older man.
“Ah, okay,” Forth waved goodbye, watching Beam go away until he couldn’t see the backside of him down the stairs anymore. Once he was truly alone, he sighed, “I should’ve said more.”
Habits: ‘an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.’ Forth supposed it was his fault for making himself fall into this trap because the only way to get any interaction with Beam without himself seeming like a stalker was to take peaceful breaks at the bridge at least three times a week. Usually, one out of those three days -mostly at random- that Forth would get to have a chance to have Beam face to face with him.
They talked about work, fashion, and women and men that came into their lives. Stories upon stories of embarrassing times, the hardships of hiding behind a facade, and trying to find themselves in the adult world. Forth and Beam could talk up to at least two hours before Beam would suggest that he needed to be home soon and get rest or else his beauty would decay and cause him to lose customers at the club. Understanding, Forth always gave Beam the space to break away.
A pack of unopened cigarettes in one hand, and the warm shadows around Forth surrounded him and breathed against his smooth skin. Little steps echoed in the background meant that someone was coming up the stairs. The fairly emptied bridge made it easy for Forth to be delicate to unfamiliar sounds. When he faced to see where the vibrations came from, he could feel his chest tighten like a string being plucked too hard. A nasty feeling invaded his mind, and he felt envy in a such a long time.
“Oh, P’Forth,” Beam remarked, as if he was almost shocked to see Forth here at this exact spot. He looked at Forth with an apprehensive expression before he turned to look at the stranger that Beam had his arm wrapped around. Without having anything else to say, he only quietly clapped his hands together and bowed as he took the other man back to his apartment to do the ‘extra services’ he offered.
“Goodnight, Nong,” Forth retorted, looking away, clearly disturbed at the scene that was playing.
“Mmm,” Beam hummed, walking away with loud footsteps, but he would catch himself fitting one more glimpse at Forth.
“Something wrong?” The stranger asked Beam.
Forth stayed behind another hour after Beam’s departure, trying to straighten out the ugly emotions that was stirring inside of him. Suddenly, Forth dug up a memory of his ex-boyfriend, remembering hairy legs brushing against his own and getting an unbalanced mixture of envious and jealousy when heterosexual couples would flaunt their locked hands at them. If anyone could read Forth’s mind, they would see how fucking desperate he wanted to be like those ‘normal’ couples holding hands nonchalantly. Proudly, even. Then there was Beam, casually letting men hold him like a treasure of the night, and Forth was envious of it. Clenching the steel railings, he sighed and released his grip before drooping over it. “What am I doing?” Forth groaned.
“Yeah, what exactly are you doing?” Beam’s voice scared the shit out of Forth.
“Fuck! Where’d you come from?” Much to Forth’s surprise, he wasn’t expecting the handsome fellow to appear behind him undetected. Perhaps Forth was too into his head again?
“I came back from my apartment… to check on you,” Beam swayed a little bit, unsure of how to approach the matter, “to see if you’re still out here.”
“I mean, here I am.”
“Mmm. How come you haven’t left yet?”
“You,” Forth subconsciously uttered his mind, instantly regretting it once he saw how flustered he made Beam, “sorry, sorry! I was just thinking, uh, of, aaah, how you can be so confident in yourself.”
Beam nodded and made sure his bangs covered his flushed ears, “I, I’m not always like that. I have to feel confident or else no one would want to see my shows. People like a cocky person once in a while.”
Forth gave a pity laugh. “I see. What happened with that guy, anyways?”
“I thought I was gonna get laid, but it seemed I wasn’t in the mood. Gave him his money back and apologized.”
Silence filled the air between them. A tension drifted in between them, but Beam wasn’t going to let it stay that way for too long.
“Look, do you want to kiss and just see where it takes us?”
Taking a moment to reevaluate, reprocess, and reconfirm what Forth heard, the only acceptable words that his mouth could spit out was, “Excuse me?”
“I don’t know. You’re passable to me,” looking up and down at Forth’s outfit, “definitely straight-acting but not straight ,” and he finished his glance at the taller man’s pink semi-chapped lips, “and I’m getting too curious how those ,” circling his index finger at the lower region just above Forth’s chin, “would taste .”
Forth gulped. “Uhh, this is too sudden.”
“Give me 10 seconds. I promise to forget and never speak of this happening between us in the future,” Beam negotiated, as if a fox was waving his tail at him.
Forth couldn’t say no, not because he had no other choice, but because he actually wanted to suck those lips until they bled. “Deal.”
As fast as an arrow, Beam shot himself forward and swallowed Forth’s lips first, feeling a new type of warm fill his body like this was what he missing all this time. Although, he wouldn’t ever say this aloud to anyone, or else he would have to punch their teeth in. Beam was getting horny fast because once Forth submitted to the ecstasy and lust, he was being more aggressive in his touch, which made Beam’s penis twitch inside of his pants.
Forth took the lead, perfectly maneuvering his lips to match Beam’s lip movement. His hand crawled up Beam’s thigh before eventually reaching the lower back, pulling Beam’s waist closer and bringing their crotches together. Breathing between moments of separation from their raunchy kissing, Forth could say with all his enthusiasm that he loved how those plump lips tasted like strawberry and peach. He almost wondered if Beam planned for this to happen?
Nonetheless, this played particularly great for Forth since he wanted this to happen between them for a while already. This only quicken the process of him trying to get them to this point.
“Let’s go back to my room,” Beam gestured behind him towards his apartment building, which Forth heavily complied.
“I like the sound of that,” Forth chuckled, holding onto Beam’s hand tightly. For a moment, Forth really could see something happening between him and the mysterious-but-alluring Beam. From this day onwards, he was going to chase after this guy through thick and thin.